How to Develop English Speaking Skills
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“I can understand the English language but can’t talk in English.” – Problem in spoken English skills. “I can speak in English, but can’t talk fluently when I am with someone.”- Lack of confidence in English speaking skills. “I can understand and speak in English, but can’t use a range of words.”- Lack of practice. Where do you find yourself out of all of these? Or maybe, you can have a problem with your diction, pronunciation, etc. All these shortcomings point toward one central solution, and that is, practising and developing English speaking skills.
Any language (English or not) demands practice and investment. Communication is an extensive and complicated process that can only be learnt with patience, dedication, and the right approach. English speaking skills, therefore, can only be mastered when you practice them enough.
Ways to Improve your English speaking skills:
Practice makes the (hu)man perfect:
Stop being harsh on yourself, thinking you’d be under public scrutiny if you make a mistake. Never shy away from speaking in English, wherever and whenever you can. Remember, trying and being laughed upon is way better than not trying and being a source of mockery all your life. Practising English regularly is inevitable, and that’s how all of us learn anything under the sun.
Practice alone if you don’t have anyone else to talk to:
Many times, people tend to face difficulty in speaking in English when there is no one else to talk to. In that case, imagine being in a situation (hypothetically) and start talking to yourself; if you have a mirror, even better. Not only will this shoot your confidence high, but it will also hone your English speaking skills.
You have the liberty to talk about any topic, any subject of your choice- Nature, politics, travelling, etc., to whatever extent you want to. The objective is to improve your English speaking skills and not the choice of subject.
Choose English as your language preference:
The most common thing observed in non-native English speakers is that they choose their native language whenever they get the option. In this way, you reduce opportunities to learn English by being resistant to opportunities. It would be best if you always tried to deshell that tendency to backflip when you come across English texts, conversations, etc.
For instance, while talking to a customer care representative or surfing the internet, choose your language as ‘English’. You might face the difficulty in the beginning, but by and by, you will ace it.
Groove to your favourite English songs while understanding them:
It is one of the most entertaining ways to learn English. Understandably, the chances are high that you will not get even a single word initially, but that’s completely fine. Gradually, over a period of time, you will start understanding the ‘soul of the song’. The best part is that your English repertoire and range will expand significantly.
Watch your favourite English movies (without DUBBING!):
You might be a big-time movie fan, and that too, a crazy fan of English movies. But do you watch it in a dubbed version? If yes, then there is no point in watching these movies as far as learning English is concerned. Hence, whenever you watch a movie, try to find its English version. Now, you might have a problem understanding it. In that case, try switching on the English subtitles. It would help you understand the context, the intonation of the sentences, the intent of the sentences and the correct pronunciation.
Watching or listening to interviews:
Watching movies might not be the best alternative for everyone as you may lose interest if you are not a movie fan. So, you can try watching interviews of your favourite celebrities/personalities. This will keep you entranced in the conversation, help you know the insights of your favourite people, and most importantly, help you learn English faster.
Take hold of a dictionary and frame sentences:
One of the most effective ways to upgrade your vocabulary is to learn new words from a dictionary or elsewhere, finding their meaning and using it every day. To make it easier, let’s say you learnt/heard a word, ‘Gamut’. Now, if you go and search for its meaning in the dictionary, you will find what it means (a range of something.)
Once you learn the word’s meaning, the next most important task is to use it appropriately for the whole day, at least. Quite commonly, we learn a word and then forget its usage. What’s the point of memorising them, then? Hence, find (a word), learn (its meaning), and practice (its usage).
Learn to pronounce the words correctly:
You may be phenomenal in your vocabulary. You may even have fluency in speaking English. Does that make you a good speaker? Umm, no! Pronunciation is a powerful dynamic of a good speaker. For the word ‘aisle’, there is an ‘S’ silent. Similarly, there are different words with strikingly different pronunciations. Hence, while learning a word, note its correct pronunciation too.
Strengthen your Grammar:
You can never ignore learning Grammar! Whether it’s a usage of has/had or was/were, the way grammar can testify your English language, no other factor can. Hence, try building the foundations of English grammar. You can refer to the basic English grammar books or various online resources to make a concrete Grammar foundation.
Never think in a different language and translate it into English:
People usually think in their native language, translate it into English in their mind according to the structure of their native language, and then speak in English. It murders the essence of the language. Therefore, think of English as a separate language, and start thinking and speaking in English itself (of course, when you are talking in English.)
Learning English is not that difficult. You only need the right direction, sound guidance and dedication.